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Design & Technology

What will students study in Design and Technology this year?

In Year 7, 8 and 9 students design and manufacture their own working products in response to open ended creative projects in four design disciplines:

Year 7

  • In Product Design students learn about how to use specialist tools and equipment in the workshop.  They will apply their skills and knowledge learnt to design and make a wooden toy robot.  They make one wooden robot with a set design specification. This will help them to learn and practice a range of foundational workshop skills (use of disc sander, files, tenon saw etc), then design and create their own design with moving joints.  All health and safety measures must be considered throughout.
  • In Engineering students will learn the basics of build structures and applying their mathematical skills to design and create lightweight structures. They will use the design cycle to plan, design, build, test and improve these designs through the project.
  • In Food students are introduced to government dietary guidance for a healthy lifestyle. They will also develop their practical skills so they can confidently use a range of equipment in the kitchen and complete basic recipes independently. They will learn a variety of different cake making methods as well as creating both sweet and savoury dishes, demonstrating and applying skills they have learnt.  Some recipes include healthy flapjacks using the melting method, creating a roux to make macaroni cheese, as well as creating their own layered pasta salad, learning chopping and presentation skills.
  • In Textiles, students are introduced to using the sewing machine, and learning basic surface decoration techniques. Students produce a four-panel cushion cover, based on the four seasons, using four different techniques. Students will pick the most relevant technique linked to their design iteration and then combine them. They will then add an envelope back.

Year 8

  • In Product Design students will learn to use the design cycle to design and prototype an inclusive hand tool. Students will learn about inclusive design, anthropometrics and ergonomics and designing and manufacturing their own adapted hand tool. They will hand draw, model, test and develop their design, seeking feedback throughout this process. Students will then develop their prototype using CAD/CAM and physical modelling using workshop tools.
  • In Engineering students will be beginning to learn the basics of utilising programmable components in products. They will practice and improve their computational thinking, design their own sensor-controlled circuits and integrate these into a prototype they have designed and modelled based about a range of set design challenges.
  • In Textiles students will begin with artist research to inform their design work and project. The student's final product will be developed from their given artist, based on a grid of techniques that they can choose from. This should show development and growth from their Year 7 project. Students will produce a set of four postcards, depicting their developed techniques based on a set theme to follow which will then be used as a display piece.
  • In Food students identify different dietary requirements, learning about allergies and intolerances and how recipes can be adapted. They will apply this theory through cooking a range of adapted recipes, building on the skills they learnt through Year 7. They will demonstrate new skills on how to present sweet and savoury dishes to a high standard.  These will all be photographed, sensory analysed and evaluated.

Year 9

  • In Food students follow the theme of Multicultural Meals, looking at different cultures to create a fusion of flavours that meet the needs of a target group. They investigate through product analysis, production methods and government led dietary requirements.  Students will photograph all final outcomes and learn how to present to a high standard in preparation for GCSE Food and Nutrition.
  • In Textiles Students work with a student currently in Year 3 at Crofton Junior school. Students will receive a monster designed by their allocated Year 3 student and then make it to be delivered back for feedback. This project is client design led, helping the Year 9 students to understand the importance of interpreting a design and gaining feedback, alongside making a product that meets the safety requirements of a child. Students will be taken during their DT lesson to Crofton Junior school to evaluate their design with their client.
  • In Product Design, pupils will be learning about material properties and sustainability and applying their newfound understanding to design and prototype an end product. This project will incorporate learning 3D CAD skills as well as building understanding about traditional and modern materials.
  • In Engineering pupils will be learning the about pulley, gears and linkages and how these are applied to products. Pupils will be tasked with a design challenge which requires them to use their understanding of mechanisms and apply this to solve a specific design problem.

What are the major assessments this year?

After each project students set their own targets based on peer and teacher feedback, improving on these in the next project. The main target areas are research, designing, planning, construction, and evaluation.

What will the current performance grade be based on, and what do the levels mean?

The current performance grades are based on each project’s assessment. Your student will be given an assessment sheet at the beginning of each rotation. This will outline the tasks and skills that will be assessed in each project.

What should my student do if they feel they are struggling in the subject?

In the first instance, they should speak to their subject teacher who will help to identify specific areas for improvement or targeted support. If you have any concerns, we are always happy to talk. Please email

How can I support my student?

The best way to provide general support is by discussing their work in the subject and how things are going. If you can, access the CAD programs online and build your knowledge and skill in using them. This could be programs like OnShape CAD or TinkerCAD.

You can visit exhibitions and galleries such as the Design Museum, The V&A both in Kensington & The Young V&A in Bethnal Green. There are also lots of smaller fantastic museums with a design focus such as The Fasion & Textile Museum in London Bridge or The Museum of Brands, The Horniman Museum & The London Transport Museum.

There are lots of fantastic online publications as well as social media accounts dedicated to the Design industry. These could also be a great source of research. Dezeen. & Design Boom. For food Good Food is a great source of interesting recipes to try and cook at home. For textiles Vogue or Dazed.

What kind of independent work should my child be completing?

Students are given regular homework to complete. This should be recorded on Microsoft Teams. Quite often pupils will be asked to evaluate their practical tasks or keep a working diary linked to their project.

To do well in Design and Technology they should ensure they are keeping up to date with the research, design and evaluation homework set and make sure that they are taking lots of photos of the progress of their practical project or of the processes they are learning.

Who can I contact for further advice and information?

Please feel free to contact the Head of Design and Technology, Mrs Cameron, on with as much detailed information as possible.

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